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  • 36


     
    A Day of Bombs and Blood
    News/Comment; Posted on: 2007-04-19 13:42:18 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Hundreds Die in Baghdad

    By PATRICK COCKBURN

    Yesterday will go down as a day of infamy for Iraqis who are repeatedly told by the US that their security is improving. Almost 200 people were killed on one of the bloodiest days of the four-year-old war, when car bombs ripped through four neighbourhoods across Baghdad, exposing the failure of the two-month-old US security plan.

    In the aftermath of the blasts, American and Iraqi soldiers who rushed to the scene of the explosions were pelted with stones by angry crowds shouting: "Where is the security plan? We are not protected by this plan."

    Billowing clouds of oily black smoke rose into the sky over the Iraqi capital after four bombs tore through crowded markets and streets leaving the ground covered in charred bodies and severed limbs. "I saw dozens of dead bodies," said a witness in Sadriyah, a mixed Shia-Kurdish neighbourhood in west Baghdad where 140 people died and 150 were injured. " Some people were burned alive inside minibuses. Nobody could reach them after the explosion. There were pieces of flesh all over the place. Women were screaming and shouting for their loved ones who died."

    The escalation in devastating bomb attacks by Sunni insurgents against Shia civilians is discrediting the US security plan, implemented by a "surge" in American troop numbers. Launched on 14 February it was intended to give the Iraqi government greater control over the streets of Baghdad. The Mehdi Army Shia militia, blamed for operating death squads against Sunni civilians, had adopted a lower profile and avoided military confrontation with the US but that is unlikely to continue in the wake of these devastating bomb attacks. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is seen as being unable to defend his own people.

    In the aftermath of the explosions, one man waved his arms and shouted angrily: "Where's Maliki? Let him come and see what is happening here." The enraged crowds throwing stones at American and Iraqi troops who arrived after the blasts also shouted: "Down with Maliki."

    Full Article
    News Source: Counterpunch.org

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